Swimming Events Guide 2024
FEATURES,  Features

6 wild swimming spots in the south Lake District

From England’s largest lake to small tarns nestling under fells, the South Lakes has something for everyone – whether you are a marathon swimmer or wild dipper.

Miller Ground

Where local Windermere swimmers meet before work for a morning dip. Swim from the boathouse out to Buoy 13 (a green barrel buoy about 250m off-shore). Park in layby on the road or at Rayrigg Meadow car park. Coffee afterwards at Homeground in Windermere. ///mows.speak.bypassed

Rydal Water

Easy access from Ambleside with three car parks to choose from. Walk to the far side of the lake to enter the water from a gently shelving beach. Swim out to explore the small islands. Afterwards walk up to Rydal caves before a pint in the Badger Bar to watch the badgers feed. ///trembles.pens.grownup

Blea Tarn

Classic Lake District wild swimming in a beautiful tarn surrounded by the Langdale Pikes. Park at National Trust car park and cross the road for a short stroll down to the tarn. A Site of Special Scientific Interest, the sediment in the tarn has not been disturbed since the last Ice Age. ///moderated.remainder.sends

Elter Water

Walk up from Chesters Café at Skelwith Bridge past Skelwith Force to the still waters of Elter Water. After your swim return to Chesters for coffee and cake. ///soups.flank.bonnet

Stickle Tarn

A 40-ish minute walk (and easy scramble at the top) up Stickle Ghyll to this popular tarn under the brooding mass of Pavey Ark. After your swim climb up Pavey Ark for stunnning views – either walk up the back or brave Jack’s Rake, a Grade 1 scramble up across the face of the rock. Refreshments afterwards at Stickle Barn café by the National Trust car park. ///embarks.followers.should

Loughrigg Tarn

A ‘most beautiful example’ of a tarn, according to Wordsworth. With views of the Langdale Pikes, the water is lovely and warm as the tarns is small and low-lying. Team with a swim at nearby Elter Water. ///furnish.inspects.jotting

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.